Some of the biggest names in tech have come together this week for the sake of schoolchildren all around the country. The Associated Press reports that Obama has made considerable progress on his mission to connect more American schools to the internet as Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and others have committed to pledging $750 million to his ConnectED plan. Their pledges will be in the form of cash donations, electronic devices and network services. More →
Verizon has no interest in getting into a price war with AT&T and T-Mobile. If you want evidence, just ask Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who last year flat-out stated that “we never have and never will lead on price.” But given that AT&T and T-Mobile are now getting much more aggressive with their family plan offers, could Verizon be forced to make similar offers just to keep up its subscriber growth? Don’t count on it: ComputerWorld this week reached out to Verizon for comment on the AT&T-T-Mobile price war and the carrier once again said that it won’t go down the price-cut rabbit hole. More →
After popping up last week on an internal test page, the Lumia Icon made an abrupt reappearance on Verizon’s official site on Tuesday. The page was promptly taken down, but Gigaom managed to snag a few screenshots before it went offline. The listing was nearly identical to the one on the test page from last week, featuring the same photos of the device and the same $777 placeholder price tag with or without a contract. Unlike the previous listing, this time Verizon included a full spec sheet for the Lumia Icon. More →
Following rumors that suggested Intel was ready to throw in the towel on the revolutionary pay TV service it has been developing behind closed doors, a new report states the company has done just that. But for those wishing the service would launch and potentially change the game, there’s still hope. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Verizon has acquired Intel’s online TV division for an undisclosed sum, though earlier reports suggested that Intel was seeking around $500 million. Verizon will take control of all intellectual property associated with the service, and will also reportedly offer jobs to each member of the 350-person team at Intel that was working on the project. The deal is expected to close sometime in the first quarter. More →
Verizon Communications posted a massive $1.93 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 as pension expenses and costs associated with Hurricane Sandy took a big toll on the company’s performance. The company was looking to rebound in 2013 and it did just that. Excluding one-time charges, Verizon managed earnings of $0.45 per share in the year-ago quarter on sales totaling $30 billion. In Q4 2013, Verizon’s earnings climbed to $0.66 per share on $31.07 billion in revenue, narrowly beating analysts’ estimates on both counts. The carrier’s net income totaled $5.07 billion in the fourth quarter. Verizon also said it added 1.7 million net new wireless subscribers during the quarter, pushing its total subscriber count to 102.8 million. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Verizon’s new upgrade conditions for the its Edge plan may be little more than a marketing trick meant to convince subscribers to stay with the carrier amid increased competition elsewhere. The carrier has dropped the upgrade time from six months to 30 days for its Edge plan, allowing users to upgrade to a new smartphone in just one month, if they so desire. The promotion is limited though, as CNET has learned. “[…] this is currently a promotion but we have not set an end date. It is in response to our customer’s requests regarding this popular payment and upgrade plan,” a spokesman told the site. “While it is important to understand what our competitors are doing, Verizon makes decisions based on what’s best for both our customers and business.” More →
Beware of wireless carriers trying to sell you on “bargains.” CNET notes that Verizon has come out with a new “share everything” data plan that costs just $20 a month but that also offers only 250MB of shared data. And of course, the $20 data plan is only part of the package since you’ll also have to pay for voice and SMS, which together bring the total cost of the plan to $60 a month. When you consider that T-Mobile is offering customers unlimited talk, text and data for just $70 a month then Verizon’s new “cheap” data plan looks like anything but a bargain, especially if customers routinely break their 250MB data caps and get slapped with overage fees.
Consumers and businesses in America spend billions on wireless service each year. And it’s no wonder — the average cost of cell phone service on each of the top four nationwide carriers in the U.S. is painfully high. One is higher than the rest, of course, and you’ll have to try to act surprised when you find out which it is. More →
Don’t worry, American consumers: the death of net neutrality is no big deal and it won’t harm your online experience at all. That’s the takeaway from the various responses U.S. Internet service providers offered up to the public following Tuesday’s U.S. appeals court ruling that killed net neutrality rules. Some believe the ruling will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Internet as we know it today, giving service providers free rein to squeeze money out of companies looking to give their services an edge by allotting them additional bandwidth that standard service will not enjoy. But according to companies such as Comcast and Verizon, that won’t be the case at all. More →
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has become fond of using social media to taunt his rivals at Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. And on Tuesday, Legere came up with yet another way to use Twitter to annoy his competitors: By posting pictures of their former customers making the switch to T-Mobile. To rub salt even further into the wound, most of the pictures Legere posted were of customers who were also displaying “breakup letters” they’d written to their former carriers that included messages such as “BYE BYE AT&T I’m breaking up with you!” and “Peace out, Sprint, U suck!” T-Mobile first launched its “carrier breakup letter” initiative at CES last week where it offered to help customers write breakup letters informing rival carriers that they were being dumped for “the Uncarrier.” Some of Legere’s choice pictures follow below. More →
Nokia may have agreed last year to sell its devices and services business to Microsoft, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the vendor from building and launching a wide range of new devices while it waits for the deal to be finalized. According to a new leak, the company’s next launch will be a sleek new smartphone coming to Verizon Wireless in the near future. Engadget on Wednesday evening discovered a Verizon test site page that was home to the all new Nokia Lumia Icon, a Windows Phone 8 handset with what appears to be a fairly large HD display. Stated specs include a 20-megapixel camera and a 2,420 mAh battery with support for wireless charging, but the rest is a mystery — at least for the next few days until Verizon announces the phone. The test page on Verizon’s site has been taken down.
Data caps. The mere mention of the phrase is enough to send shivers up the spine of any smartphone user. While there is a glimmer of hope that carriers might someday be forced to raise caps or even eliminate them entirely, data caps likely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon for Verizon Wireless and AT&T subscribers. Luckily, however, there are tools to help subscribers better manage their data usage. Carriers themselves offer tools that help users analyze data usage and they also notify customers as they approach their data caps, but a new free tool made available by the CTIA takes things a step further by helping smartphone and tablet users learn which iPhone, iPad and Android apps consume a large amount of data and which apps are more cap-friendly. The “Know My App” site allows users to browse through a list of popular apps or search by name, and it also shows how concerned people should be based on how high their data caps are. A link to the site follows below in our source section.
Verizon and AT&T have long insisted that the majority of their subscribers face no danger of going over their monthly data caps, but that may be about to change. The New York Times reports on a new study published this week showing that average monthly mobile data consumption in the United States has surged over the last year, going from an average of 690MB per month in 2012 to 1.2GB per month this year. If data usage keeps growing at this pace then next year the average wireless user will consume around 2.4GB per month, which is well over many subscribers’ monthly data caps. More →